This is my lavender plant. I am thrilled with its size and beauty. The bees must be also because they won’t leave it alone. I saw a moth flying nearby also. I’m not sure what variety my lavender is since I planted it last summer and must have discarded the tag. It may be either Munstead or Hidcote. It stayed fairly small and did not bloom last year probably because I planted it later in the summer. It overwintered well and really took off growing this year, perhaps because we had such good spring rains.

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Lavender is such a wonderful, low maintenance perennial when planted in a sunny location with well-drained soil. I have mine in a small bed next to the mailbox and it is thriving. Neighbors are probably enjoying its beauty and fragrance as they walk by it. In addition to being a beautiful, fragrant garden plant that attracts bees and butterflies, it has other uses. Just before the flowers open fully is the best time to harvest the blooms. You can cut the stems and hang them upside down in a cool place until dried. Bundle them for beautiful gifts or for use as a dried floral arrangement. Leaves and blooms can be used for potpourri or for making sachets. Placing a sachet in your pillowcase may help give a good night’s sleep.

Lavender oil is used in aromatherapy and is calming and soothing. Some people experience relief from headaches when they rub a couple of drops of high quality lavender essential oil onto their temples, foreheads or back of the neck. It can be used with a carrier oil for massage and is gentle on the skin. I like to kepp a bottle of essential oil on my bedside table and rub a little on my temples to calm me down at night. I think it helps me sleep better. Lavender essential oil also helps me with minor headaches. It has anti-viral and anti-bacterial properties also. I use a commercial lavender kitchen cleaner on my counters. Often I rub the essential oil on a bug bite for relief. And when I am congested I inhale it from a tissue saturated with a few drops of oil for relief. The oil is one perfume that helps my allergies rather than giving me an allergic reaction.

There are many culinary uses of lavender also. I have had lavender cookies, lavender lemonade (which I loved) and just last week tried lavender ice cream in a restaurant.

The versatility of lavender seems almost endless. Perhaps you will take a few minutes to share some of your lavender knowledge, experiences, favorites, ideas, tips or recipes . I’d love to hear about them.

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